Ethnography, a qualitative research method developed within the field of anthropology, has been increasingly applied to a variety of fields, including sociology, education, and nursing. Ethnography works to understand the behavior and views of a particular cultural group from that group's own perspective. Traditionally, ethnography has been differentiated into classic ethnography, systematic ethnography, interpretive ethnography, and critical ethnography. A recently developed focused ethnography studies specific issues within a single culture or social situation among a limited number of people within a specific period of time. Focused ethnography is particularly relevant to the field of health sciences and holds significant potential to contribute to nursing knowledge and to help improve nursing practice. A search of Medline, CINAHL, Eric, PsycINFO, and the Index to Chinese Periodical Literature database found that ethnography has seldom been applied or discussed in the nursing literature in Taiwan. Therefore, the aim of this article is focused on introducing ethnography and understanding the applications of ethnography in nursing research. Relevant nursing literature published between 2000 and 2005 is summarized and the authors hope that this paper will give Taiwanese nursing professionals a better appreciation of this methodology and encourage its wider application in nursing research.